Auction nets $80K for Santa Fe Symphony

SANTA FE, N.M. — Music is a world within itself
With a language we all understand …
Music knows it is and always will

Be one of the things that life just won’t quit …
… You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over, people …
– Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder

Every now and then, there’s a truly unique and priceless item at a benefit auction, something that you can’t just go out and buy somewhere, something no one else has, something quite individual and special and rare. That is F-U-N to have! VERY FUN! … A hedonistic self-indulgence, or the perfect gift for the person who already has everything. Such an item recently offered was an intimate, personal concert in a lovely home, on a perfect May evening, performed by famed conductor Guillermo Figueroa and master musician Valerie Turner, both on their violins.

A far cry from a formal auditorium seat, how pleasant to sit on a comfortable sofa on a summer’s eve in a gorgeous living room, with nice friends – à la salon – chilly beverage in hand along with a petite plate of tasty hors d’oeuvres; the two world-class musicians 10 feet away playing Schubert and Bartok with great gusto and passion! You just can’t buy this kind of ethereal experience … except at the annual Symphony Gala!

The Symphony Gala itself is a party famous for its robust and jocular bidding at the live auction, and for not being able to see your tablecloth at dinner. It is completely covered and sparkling with the nine stemmed glasses at each place setting (one for your water) required for the evening of comparison wine pairings. All exquisite wines! Nothing from Chuck. No little black dress of oenology. We’re talking serious wines, Wine Spectator 92-95+ wines! All matched to the special, sublime, gourmet dinner designed to enhance and dance with these exotic libations. You enjoy your soft shell crab course while deciding which of the Chardonnays go better with it; which red with the Venison Wellington, etc. Very fun game!

The next fun game is the live auction! This auction is intended to raise a significant amount of money for the Santa Fe Symphony to operate its community programs. So you need some big ticket items, and some buyers for them! The private violin concert, and a cello concert, as well; a Caribbean catamaran adventure for six people or a trip to Vermejo Park Ranch. Plus some fancy art, all of which raised about $80,000 (breaking all previous records).

The donations go to community outreach and education. Forty-ninth, 50th … out of 50? Alternating year by year with Mississippi … . Someone there said that right now New Mexico has the lowest per capita income and the worst educational system in the country! Ugh! Help! The Santa Fe Symphony, which consists of all local residents, has nine mentors in public schools donating 860 hours every year, and would like to do more. They also send 3,600 schoolchildren to concerts at the Lensic, free to the children, paid for by events like tonight’s donations. They also perform two “pay what you want concerts” every season, introducing to good music people in the community who otherwise probably wouldn’t have a chance to hear it.
So … you better look up on the internet about the health benefits of classical music! It is astonishing! From easing depression and insomnia to boosting the immune system and enhancing learning, REAL MUSIC is good for you! Fact.

About 120 enthusiastic supporters attended the California Dreamin’-themed event to help spread music throughout our community. One gala at a time.

Ashley Margetson has a BA in English from UCLA, is a senior real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty and has a finger on the pulse of philanthropic activities in Santa Fe. To tell us about an upcoming event, email


Penelope Penland chats with John Scully.

Sarah Nolan with Gala Chair Suzanne Timble.

Symphony Board President Frank Hirsch, with Mayor Alan Webber and his wife, Frances.

Don Percious greets guests at the Silent Auction.

Clint and Vicki Hurt came from Midland for the event.

Best Costume prize: James Marx and Patrick Galbraith.

The Heltmans! Were Elaine and Greg having fun?

Clare and Jim Woodcock love the Symphony!

Leslie and Marty Barab shopped the Silent Auction at Hotel Santa Fe.



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